Monday Morning Musings on Grief (Again)

 

“The edge of the keenest sorrow wears with time and perhaps Heaven’s kindest gifts to men are sleep for the fleeting cares of the day and forgetfulness for the deep-seated injuries of the heart.”
~ C. Rajagopalachari in his Ramayana

 

Dear readers,

Does that quote resonate with you?

From where I sit with my cuppa black coffee on this rainy morning, I’m not so sure what I think about that quote. Throughout my adult life, I have experienced pretty serious grief a handful of times, and those sorrows did get better with the passing of time (and a lot of crying)… But, tomorrow marks one calendar month since my Dad died, and this grief of losing a parent is a whole new level of emotional pain that I had not experienced before. It is just terrible, and it is difficult to imagine ever feeling better.

One nice feature of this blog is the search box… Last night I typed in the word “grief” and re-read some of my own posts about grief… (And I discovered that I had already written a post with the same title as today’s post, so that’s why I added the word “Again”, smiley face!) If you or someone you know is now grieving, these posts might be helpful so I’ll put the links here ~

~ “Protection Prayer When Grieving

~ “Riding a Grief Wave Successfully

~ “Monday Morning Musings on Grief

One of the stranger aspects of grief is the shock and denial stage. Over this past month, I find that I alternate between the cushion of shock, with thoughts like, “This didn’t really happen… He couldn’t have really died…” and the pain of reality with thoughts like, “His body is buried in the Earth… we will never see him in the physical again…” With regards to this musing, I must say that I much prefer the barrier that the shock provides. When I’m in the shock, the pain softens because everything feels unreal, fuzzy, numb, and even surreal. Even though, in the back of my mind, I know that he really died, the shock makes me feel like it is all a bad dream and soon I will wake up and my Dad will be here like before…

But I am intelligent, so I know logically that he is actually gone forever from the physical realm… Grief definitely muddles the mind! Can you relate?

After my Dad died I took a few weeks off from blogging, and when I returned to my great love of blogging I didn’t know how often I would post… Well, if you’ve been following this blog then you know that I have been posting daily (this is the 11th day in a row)… And I think I need to slow down the pace, because I am feeling pretty overwhelmed. It is natural to feel easily stressed when grieving, so that is why it is recommended to be easy on yourself. Great sorrow requires great self-love and tender self-care. So, I will still be posting here, but I’m really going to try to slow down the pace! 🙂

Thank you so much for reading my musings on grief today. I hope this post is helpful to you or to someone you love.

With much, much love,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by Gabriele Ibba on Unsplash.

 

The Last Book

In my post on January 19th (“Maintaining a Balance”) I shared that I was going to take a few days off from blogging in order to re-read the books I published last year… Well, that same day my Dad went into the hospital, and later that week he had double bypass heart surgery which he did not recover from, and he died on January 25th.

During the week that my Dad was in the hospital, I had already finished re-reading my book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, so I was re-reading my book, The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes.

The week prior to that, I had written the following in my journal: “It appears that once again I have failed, because my books haven’t sold and the blog hasn’t gotten a big following… It appears as failure on the outside, but on the inside it feels like success because I really LOVE both books so much, and I really LOVE the blog so much! ~ When I re-read the two books and the 270+ blog posts, I feel so pleased and so proud of my work… My work isn’t successful externally/financially for many possible reasons: my health issues; my inability to effectively promote (“Realizing (Again) That I Am Not a Salesperson!”); karma; destiny; fate; astrology; and/or I am too fringe and/or too spiritual for this worldly realm… “It’s Whatever.” ~ My work is very successful and satisfying internally! Om Namah Shivaya, Jai Sri Rama!”

So, while my Dad was in the hospital, I once again really loved reading The Tejaswini Ramayana, and I visualized many people being elevated by watching it as a major film like Avatar

Then my Dad died… and the day after he died, my Mom told me that he had taken my book, The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes, with him to the hospital… So, he and I were both reading The Tejaswini Ramayana during the last week of his life, but neither one of us knew that the other was reading the same book at the same time!

It was actually my Dad’s third time to read The Tejaswini Ramayana, because first he proofread the original copy prior to publication, then secondly he read the published book in order to write a review… Well, after he spent many hours writing a review on Amazon, it wouldn’t save and he lost all that he had written… And then the months of busy living flew by…

So, my Mom said that in December he was planning to read it for the third time in order to surprise me with a written review for Christmas… But he didn’t get around to doing it, so he was planning to write the surprise review for my 50th Birthday, which was on January 29th… So that’s why he had taken the book with him to the hospital on January 19th… And he finished reading the book that week, but he didn’t have time to start writing the review…

So! After a lifetime of being an avid reader and researcher, the last book my Dad read on this Earth was my book, The Tejaswini Ramayana. I am so stunned by that, and tears are blurring my eyes as I type this post…

As he read the book, he told my Mom, “She is a good writer,” and he made comments about what was happening in the fantastical story, such as “The blue beings are coming!” My Mom said he really enjoyed reading it, and I can tell the truth of that by reading his marked-up copy…

Last week I really loved reading his copy and seeing what he had underlined. I especially appreciated seeing all the comments and smiley faces and other doodles he had made in the margins! What a blessing, what a gift, for me to have his copy of my book!

The Tejaswini Ramayana is based on the ancient epic story from India, which I had been studying for nearly fifteen years… My version is quite fantastical, and my Dad was more of a realist, so a lot of his written comments questioned my “fantasy-based philosophy”… While reading his marked-up copy I enjoyed talking to my Dad and explaining my cosmic beliefs to him! It was the only spiritual connection I have felt with him in these long three weeks since he died… I am so very grateful for that little spark of magic during this difficult time.

I am pretty sure that Reaching for Orange is the last book I will publish… I am not sure what the future holds for me, but for now I still feel that my purpose is to be a happy spiritual helper shining the light through writing blog posts…

Thank you so much for reading this post.

May you be blessed in every way, every day.

I love you all,
StarFire Teja

 

Put A Sun On It.

Hello dear readers… Greetings from Indiana, where the wind is blowing and clouds are gathering, as the rains from Tropical Storm Barry make their way up here. I am grateful for the cheerful birdsong and for my colorful room, as I write and sip my strong black coffee.

This morning while eating some soaked oats (watch for a recipe post soon), I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, and I noticed that there was a balance between good happy news and bad sad news, which made me think of the happy-ing up practice I already had in mind for this post… This practice brings a little humor and helps shift your perspective with regards to good and bad times.

Years ago there was an episode in the TV series “Portlandia” (that I never watched but heard about) in which an interior decorator’s solution was to “Put a bird on it.” That expression became a popular catchphrase, and when I heard it, somehow it tickled me deeply, so lately I’ve been playing around with the idea… That is how I came up with today’s practice: “Put a Sun on it.”

Having a bad day? Put a Sun on it.

In the Adhyatma Ramayana (translated by Swami Tapasyananda), Rama’s brother Lakshmana tells Guha, “In the midst of happiness, misery can occur, and in the midst of misery, happiness too can occur.”

So, beyond the humor of “Putting a Sun on it,” in this practice there is also a shift in your perspective. In times of misery, it is all too easy to spot the misery, but can you find the happiness in the midst of the misery?

The next time you feel less than happy, try this practice… Think to yourself, “Put a Sun on it.” Next, ask yourself, “What is right in this situation? What happy thing is happening? What small joy can I find in this moment?”

I hope this practice helps you to happy up… And if you are already feeling happy, that’s awesome… Put a Sun on it, and perhaps you will feel even happier! 🙂

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

How’s It Going With Your 2019 Goals?

Setting goals is good, but sometimes it can be a set-up for terrible heartbreak, especially if the goals were set too high.

For example, one of my goals this year was to sell 1,809 books by March 31st, which was set too high given the reality that I had no publicist and no budget. Even though I knew it was what some call a “stretch goal,” I’m still feeling a tad sad about it, so I am grateful that I have many tools for working skillfully with difficult emotions.

Are you feeling sad about any of your goals not panning out? If so, you might benefit from using my two best tools for working with the sadness of disappointment: Cultivating the Witness and Practicing Gratitude. Both are described in the extensive list of spiritual practices at the beginning of my book, The Tejaswini Ramayana: The Way of Rama in the Shakahara StarFire Universes.

When re-evaluating goals, it is good to remember that many goals are ever-shifting and evolving. While goals give a sense of direction, the path may change many times. And sometimes it ends up being best to abandon the path of a goal altogether and find a new direction.

So, how’s it going with your 2019 goals?

 

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

 

Do You Love Your Enemies?

3 Reasons to Forgive and 5 Inspirations for Forgiveness

Extending love and forgiveness to those who have hurt you will be helpful in three ways:

1. It will heal you by calming your nervous system, relaxing the tension in your muscles, and bringing peace to your mind and heart.

2. It will help to heal the people who you are forgiving.

3. And, it will send the healing vibration of Peace out into the world.

Here are five inspirations for your forgiveness journey:

1. In his book The Third Jesus, Deepak Chopra writes, “When Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within, he meant within everyone. This would be in keeping with his injunction to love your enemies. The same God is in them as in you.”

2. In his book, Passport to the Cosmos, John E. Mack, MD, shares the story of a woman who has utilized the power of love to counter the dark aspects of her encounters with alien beings. He writes, “When the beings seem to threaten her, she sends out to them “as much love as I can, waves of love.”… It seemed that as she sent positive love energy toward these angry beings, she could hear them shrieking and saw them running, then backing off through the wall… She sent a “last burst of love energy, calling on Jesus and feeling good inside” toward this being.”

3. In her book, Midwife for Souls, Kathy Kalina, a Hospice nurse, writes, “Forgiveness is not a feeling, but an act of the will.”

4. In my book, The Tejaswini Ramayana, the Supreme Being forgives and elevates even the greatest of sinners, which is both an assurance for humanity, and an example for human beings to do the same with their fellow humans.

5. Recently two people put an angry face emoji reaction on one of my Facebook posts about The Tejaswini Ramayana. In order to extend love and forgiveness towards them, I wrote their names on an orange post-it note, and placed it on my spiritual altar with a healing clear crystal on top. Each day after I sing the Hanuman Chalisa and say my daily prayers, I ask Sri Rama to please send them High Vibration Crystal Love Energies. Saying their names out loud, I pray that they may be elevated to the Highest Love Vibrations.

May this article be helpful to you or to someone you know.

May All Beings Know Deep Peace.

 

image Courtesy NASA Goddard